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1. C, Gary Sanchez - The promotions of Greg Bird and Luis Severino, and the marked improvements to Sanchez's overall game in 2015 has him ascending to the top spot in the rankings. He hit a combined .274 between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton this season, and tied his career-high in home runs , but more so than the consistent offensive numbers he keeps producing it's the continued progress he's made defensively and more so the maturation mentally that has his entire game together. He's now closing in on being big league ready too and the scary part is he still has a ton of ceiling left in his game.
2. OF, Aaron Judge - Many consider this former first round pick's sophomore professional campaign a "down year" and yet he still managed to hit .255 with 20 home runs between Double-A and Triple-A. Statistically the walks were down and the strikeouts were up but few baseball people have any concerns about the behemoth 6-foot-7 slugger making the long-term adjustments. He still has superb strike zone discipline, he just has to learn to be a little more aggressive earlier in counts to make optimal use of his plus power to all fields. Throw in above average or better defensive abilities and top-shelf makeup he is still very much a star in the making.
3. SS, Jorge Mateo - This Dominican speedster turned the baseball community's collective heads by stealing a minor league leading 82 bases in his first taste of the long-season leagues this year. He also hit a combined .278 between two A-ball clubs and showed an ability to consistently put the ball in play, and defensively, while there is just some kinks to iron out, he has the kind of premier athleticism that gives him no long-term concerns about being a difference-maker in the field. The 20-year old also puts a charge into his swings, suggesting considerably more power may be coming to his game once it's all said and done. He has big league All Star potential and aspirations on both sides of the ball.
4. SS, Wilkerman Garcia - This may come as a surprise to many given all of the headlines Mateo has garnered over the past calendar year but there's a growing internal debate in the Yankee organization as to which shortstop actually has the higher ceiling -- Mateo or Garcia? This Venezuelan switch-hitter might actually win the debate if every team official were polled, his complete game has received that much respect. He walked more than he struck out in his debut season this year and swing-wise has drawn comparisons to a young Robinson Cano. Throw in above average or better defense and speed, just as it was with Mateo a year ago, Garcia's rather lofty ranking here will become quite apparent and warranted by season's end next year.
5. RHP, James Kaprielian - This year's first round pick out of UCLA is everything anyone would want in a pitcher; he has size, stuff, command, endurance, and makeup. He had just a handful of appearances in his debut season this year but, known more as a pitch-ability guy who garnered Ian Kennedy comparisons upon his selection, saw his average fastball velocity creep up into the mid-90s by season's end. Throw in three other average or better big league pitches, he might not be long for the minor leagues. He has the look of a quick riser through the minor leagues and the kind of frontline starting ceiling that has the organization very excited about both his short-term and long-term future with the Yankees.
6. 2B, Rob Refsnyder - Once of the best kept secrets in the Yankee farm system in seasons prior has recently become a national media whipping victim for his supposed lack of defensive abilities and questionable makeup. Perhaps it's the national media who should be questioned because both aspects have been blown way out of proportion. Of course all of these questions risen coincided in the midst of Refsnyder's worst statistical offensive season, hitting "just" .271 with nine home runs and twelve stolen bases. He still possesses all of the traits and intangibles to be a plus offensive player in the middle of the infield, and his defensive progress is ions ahead of fellow New York second baseman Daniel Murphy at similar points in their careers. This former College World Series MVP will be in the starting second base discussions for the Yankees in 2016 and he has all of the earmarks of not relenting that spot anytime soon.
7. C, Luis Torrens - The recent trade of John Ryan Murphy to the Twins had more to do with Sanchez's progression than anything else but it doesn't hurt that the Yankees have a Murphy-like clone in Torrens ready to make his way up the minor league ladder. With exceptional bat control and top-notch strike zone discipline, and a complete defensive game that is much further along than Murphy's was as a similar age, there's also a considerably higher ceiling. He missed the entire 2015 season after having shoulder surgery but reportedly picked up right where he left off upon his return at Instructs. He may have been missed this year but he was surely not forgotten; he is arguably one of the best two-way players in the entire farm system and he's still just 19 years old.
8. RHP, Domingo Acevedo - We accurately predicted before the season began that this towering right-hander would be a Top Ten prospect by season's end and here he is after earning New York Penn League Pitcher of the Years honors on the strength of a league-leading 1.69 ERA. Forget his statistical dominance for a moment, however. The fact that his fastball sits in the mid-90s and touches over 100 mph routinely and is equipped with a plus big league changeup, and that he can throw both of them consistently for strikes despite his 6-foot-7 frame, puts him further along than Dellin Betances was at a similar stage in their careers. Even Acevedo's breaking ball is trending up too. Like Kaprielian, Acevedo [who is actually four days younger than 'Kap'] now seems poised to move quickly too.
9. OF, Slade Heathcott - Everyone realized this former first round pick way back in 2009 was as tooled up as anyone in baseball. He has above average or better everything; speed, defense, power, and hitting. What he didn't have, however, was health. And even though he showed some of those top tools in the big leagues this year, clubbing a pair of home runs and posting a 1.149 OPS in his brief 25 Major League at-bats, it still remains to be seen if health will ever be in his corner. He clearly has Top Ten talent [if not higher], he just needs to stay on the field.
10. OF, Mason Williams - Like Heathcott, this former top prospect was written off by the general masses heading into the 2015 season. While his then slipping prospect status had more to do with declining production than health concerns, his rather long return to pre-injury form from shoulder surgery two years prior did have something to do with his falling numbers. Finally healthy and his full self again this year, he hit a combined .318 for Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton before a similar strong showing at the big league level, hitting .286 with an .890 OPS in eight games before going down with a season-sending injury. Like Heathcott there is not only big league starting potential but an even higher ceiling if given the opportunities. He's proven he can still be very, very productive.
11. RHP, Chance Adams - This year's fifth round pick is the pitching version of Wilkerman Garica as one of the true helium prospects in the organization. Much like Lindgren a year ago, Adams had a dominating professional debut season, not only posting a combined 1.78 ERA with 45 strikeouts in 35.1 innings over three minor league levels but advancing all the way to high-A. Unlike Lindgren, however, Adams not only has the chance to be a starting pitcher long-term but a dominant one too. In fact, internally there are some high ranking team officials who have him rated as the top pitching prospect overall due his three plus pitches [fastball, slider, curveball], big league changeup, and innate strike-throwing ability. That is high praise indeed.
12. RHP, Jose Campos - Numbers-wise it wasn't quite the first season back that this Venezuelan would have liked in his return from Tommy John surgery but hidden behind the rather disappointing numbers was some incredibly significant good news; his plus stuff is back. Before missing the entire 2014 season he had shown an advanced three-pitch mix, including a 91-94 mph fastball that reportedly was even harder before coming over to the Yankees in the Jesus Montero-Michael Pineda deal but never showed up in the Yankee organization. However, that power not only came fully back but even more so, sitting more in the 93-97 mph range towards the end of the season. Throw in the above average or better curveball-changeup combination and his propensity to throw a ton of strikes, it's easy to dismiss his 6.29 ERA this year. Guys with his combination of plus stuff and plus command are in very short supply and it shouldn't be long before he's back to his dominating ways.
13. 3B, Miguel Andujar - This Dominican native very well have have been this year's hitting version of Davis a year ago, somebody who seemed poised to break out in a big way but did not deliver the goods. He hit just .243 with eight home runs for high-A Tampa this year, mostly due to another very slow start [he hit just .212 in his first 67 games]. Still, the ceiling is extremely high on both sides of the ball and he is just now scratching the surface of his natural talent. He'll spend the entire 2016 campaign as a 21-year old and continues to play against much older competition. His breakout should come soon, perhaps as soon as next season.
14. LHP, Jacob Lindgren - Last year's top overall pick had picked up right where he left off, posting a dominating 1.23 ERA in 15 appearances for Triple-A Scranton before getting called up to the big leagues. He wasn't quite the same pitcher in the Bronx, however, as he quickly went down with a bone spur in his pitching elbow that sidelined him for the remainder of the season. When he's healthy he boasts three plus pitches with a ton of movement. His only downfall is actually his best strength too -- his pitches move so much that it can be tough to command. Still, few have his kind of knockout stuff from the left side and he is big league ready once he's completely healthy again, which should be in time for the start of the new season.
15. SS, Hoy Jun Park - Wilkerman Garcia is grabbing a lot of immediate attention among last year's massive International free agent class and rightfully so but so is this Korean native. On the surface it was a very solid debut season for him, hitting .239 with five home runs and twelve stolen bases, and doing so while jumping up a couple of levels to the short-season Appy League as a 19-year old. His numbers, however, actually belie his true above average talent. He is a steady defensive presence in the field, shows advanced plate patience and pitch recognition, above average speed, and the exit velocities on his hits were among the best in all of minor league baseball, suggesting that there is some significant power potential coming. Don't let his somewhat ho-hum numbers disguise the fact that there is a lot of ceiling left to be tapped.
16. LHP, Ian Clarkin - This former first round pick back in 2013 finds himself in a somewhat familiar Campos-like state right now. He hasn't had Tommy John surgery, a significant difference that can be overstated, but like Campos from two years ago he has battled some nagging injury concerns and subsequent lost development time that has his stuff ticking a little bit downward. He didn't pitch in an official game this year and behind the scenes his fastball was averaging more 90-91 mph than the previous 91-94 mph range. He still shows an advanced feel for pitching and boasts two secondary pitches that show above average or better potential, but more than anything he needs to get back out on the mound, accrue some innings, build some arm strength, and gain experience.
17. RHP, Austin DeCarr - Yet another high-end arm that has dealt with more than his fair share of injuries lately, last year's third round pick missed the entire season with Tommy John surgery after just a handful of Spring Training and Extended Spring Training appearances this year. He was sitting 92-94 mph with his fastball in his debut season a year ago but reportedly topped out at 97 mph as an amateur and, now healthy once again, there is a thought that he could be primed for some more velocity upon his full return. Able to throw a ton of strikes akin to Jose Campos and Rookie Davis, if he can get that changeup going, usually a welcomed byproduct from all of the rehabbing, he could be a high-impact arm when it's all said and done.
18. LHP, Jeff Degano - This year's second round pick out of Indiana State University has a lot going for him, not the least of which is the fact that he's already had Tommy John surgery [he had it 2014] and got his fastball back up to 95 mph upon his return in college this year. He sits more in the low-90s right now but the prevailing thought in the scouting community is that velocity should begin to creep up the further he gets away from his surgery. Throw in the makings of a potentially plus curveball and great athleticism to boot, a strong argument could be made that his top two pitches are further along than Clarkin's at this point. He'll need to further develop his changeup though but should that come along quickly -- and there are signs that it could -- he too could be a quick mover through the farm system.
19. LHP, James Pazos - A year has passed since the last Top 50 rankings and not much has changed for this former 13th round pick in 2012 -- he's still incredibly consistent and downright electric at times. He posted a combined 1.27 ERA between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton this year and not only struck out better than a batter per inning pitched but also held batters to a paltry .192 average before making eleven scoreless appearances for the big league club in September. He has a 91-98 mph fastball with great deception and late life, he has a quality big league slider, and he pounds the strike zone. He should be in the big league bullpen mix out of Spring Training.
20. RHP, Nick Goody - If there's a comparable reliever to former Yankee closer David Robertson it's this former sixth round pick out of LSU back in 2012. Like Robertson, Goody isn't going to light up the radar gun with his fastball, sitting mostly 92-94 mph, but batters swing at like it's coming in a lot harder and he simply goes right after them. His slider, while still a quality big league offering, may not be quite up to par with Robertson's curveball just yet but it continues to get better and he has a quality changeup in his back pocket too just to give hitters a different look. Like Robertson coming up, he has the floor of a big league setup man when it's all said and done and the ceiling of a reliable closer once he finds his big league groove.
21. RHP, Nick Rumbelow - This Nick, like Goody, is a former LSU closer now knocking on the big league door after making several appearances for the Yankees in 2015. Not only are they good friends but there are striking similarities; a highly effective plus fastball, a plus breaking ball, and a changeup that can be pulled out to give batters another look. And just like Goody he goes right after batters. He too has the floor of an eventual big league setup man and the ceiling of a closer, and he, like Pazos and Goody, is already a viable big league bullpen option for the Yankees right now.
22. RHP, Johnny Barbato - Acquired last offseason from the San Diego Padres in the Shawn Kelley deal, stuff-wise this former sixth round pick out of high school back in 2010 is right up there with the Pazos-Goody-Rumbelow mix. In fact, armed with a 95-98 mph fastball and one of the better breaking curveballs around, not to mention a quality changeup at times, a strong argument could be made that he has the best overall stuff among the quartet. However, his command is sometimes just a little bit off and inconsistent compared to the others, especially with his knockout curveball. Still, he's yet another high-end arm knocking on the big league door and gives the Yankees an embarrassment of riches bullpen-wise.
23. OF, Tyler Austin - This former top five prospect finds himself in the Heathcott-Williams category of a year ago as somebody whose dipping production finds his prospect status eroding somewhat but still has the kind of top-shelf talent to turn things around quickly. He hit just .240 with a mere six home runs between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton this year, a season in which included a demotion. Still, it wasn't all that long ago that he was hitting well above .300 with monstrous home runs. Removed from the 40-man roster recently, he won't have much time to turn things around but that doesn't mean he can't. There is still a lot of athleticism, hitting ability, and power in this recently turned 24-year old, too much to write off just yet.
24. RHP, Ty Hensley - This former first round pick back in 2012 has become the pitching version of Heathcott as one who displays a top-shelf game but simply can't stay healthy for an extended period of time. He made a full return from hip surgery in 2014 to strike out 40 batters in 30.2 innings and got his fastball back up to the mid-90s again but then succumbed to Tommy John surgery this year before the season ever really began. When healthy he shows a DeCarr-like plus fastball-plus curveball combination with a nice feel for a changeup but, now four years into his career, he still hasn't gotten into the long-season leagues yet. It's tough to write off his huge ceiling as he's still just 22 years old and he has the talent to pull a Steven Matz-like return [Matz missed his first three professional seasons] when and if he ever remains healthy enough to do so.
25. RHP, Brady Lail - This former 18th round pick out of high school back in 2012 doesn't have nearly the same kind of ceiling as the aforementioned pitchers but he also has arguably one of the lowest bust factors too. While he can't hit the mid-90s as routinely as others, what he lacks in plus velocity he more than makes up with plus command and movement. He can sink the fastball with the best of them, one that can sit in the low-90s, shows an above average curveball-changeup combination, throw strikes consistently, and he has a reliable cutter too. He simply knows how to make adjustments and pitch. While there is little chance he could slide into the front-half of a big league rotation someday, he could be one of the more reliably productive back-half starters. The recently turned 22-year old is now Triple-A tested and could be a viable big league option as soon as next season.
26. SS, Abiatal Avelino - This Dominican native didn't have quite the breakout season some had been expecting but he came oh-so close, hitting a combined .260 with 54 stolen bases between low-A Charleston and high-A Tampa this year after an injury-marred 2014 campaign. He's an above average defender at shortstop who has recently added second base and third base to his defensive repertoire, thanks to his plus arm strength and athleticism. He isn't prone to striking out much either and he has slowly developing power, perhaps with the chance to be average. He isn't nearly as fast as his stolen base total would suggest but he's very aggressive and is an overall gamer. He has the floor of a big league utility player and the ceiling to be an everyday guy if things break right.
27. RHP, Drew Finley - This year's third round pick out of high school enters the organization with some strong comparisons to Lail when he was first drafted; advanced strike-thrower for a teenager, a high level of pitch-ability, a potentially plus curveball, a fastball that routinely sits in the low-90s, and a somewhat non-existent changeup that has the chance to come around rather quickly. The comparable traits gives Finely an eerily similar long-term projection with one notable exception; Finley already tops out at 94 mph, a couple of ticks harder than Lail had earlier in his career, suggesting perhaps a bit more power may be coming down the road. Like Lail he could be a relatively quick mover through the lower minor league levels too.
28. SS, Tyler Wade - The 2013 fourth round pick out of high school isn't nearly as tooled-up as Avelino but possesses a somewhat similar ceiling given his propensity to be more consistent with the bat. The power potential is certainly a step below and so is the arm strength, grading out more as average, but like Avelino he has added second base to his defensive mix now and he gives the Yankees yet another middle infield utility option. While the physical tools are not nearly as impressive it is Wade's intangibles that are off the charts, showing innate leadership ability, high baseball acumen, and a tireless work ethic. Throw in a consistent swing, a solid offensive approach, and smooth defensive abilities, he has the chance to develop into a solid all-around shortstop prospect who just won't hit a ton of home runs.
29. SS, Thairo Estrada - This Venezuelan native has the best attributes of both Avelino and Wade. He has the average or better physical tools across the board like Avelino, including average power potential and above average speed, and the consistent bat and high-level makeup like Wade. In fact, it's the total sum of those traits that make him one of the bigger 'sleeper' candidates and arguably a big reason why he could rank higher than those two. However, with both Wilkerman Garcia and Hoy Jun Park around at similar levels it remains to be seen if in fact Estrada will continue to get the necessary shortstop reps to remain a viable long-term prospect at the position. He can more than hold his own defensively at shortstop and in the early going he's shown plus defensive abilities at second base, giving him a floor of a middle infield utility guy like Avelino and Wade, but for now will have to fight his way to overtake others for playing time. It would be wise not to bet against him doing just that.
30. LHP, Jordan Montgomery - Last year's fourth round pick out of the University of South Carolina entered the farm system as one of the better 'sleeper' candidates on the strength of his plus changeup and advanced feel for pitching, and he's a sleeper no more after a terrific first full season in 2015. He posted a combined 2.95 ERA over two A-ball levels and essentially struck out a batter per inning pitched. More than the statistical production, however, it was the continued advancement of his stuff that has the Yankees pretty excited about his long-term potential. His curveball lagged behind his plus changeup entering the season and he developed it into an equally effective weapon by season's end and his fastball, once routinely registering in the high-80s in his debut season a year ago, began to sit more in the 91-94 mph range towards the end of the 2015 campaign. Now armed with three above average or better pitches, with his pitch-ability, his star is on the rise.
31. OF, Dustin Fowler - This former 18th round pick out of high school in 2013 was poised for a breakout season this year after a solid first taste of the long-season leagues last year [he hit .257 with nine home runs in just 66 games] and break out he did, hitting a combined .298 at two A-ball levels this year. He went into the season looking to improve his defense and his speed and he did, swiping a career-high 30 bases. Just like Cave he's changed his profile from a marginal defensive ceterfielder into a reliable one and there's some untapped power potential too. He may never be a top overall prospect but he surely has big league starting potential if he continues to progress.
32. RHP, Brody Koerner - Sleeper alert! This year's 17th round pick out of Clemson University had a solid but inauspicious professional debut season, posting a combined 1.23 ERA between short-season Pulaski and low-A Charleston with 25 strikeouts in 29.1 innings. While that's very impressive the numbers do pale in comparison to the stuff he possesses. He sits 93-96 mph with his sinking fastball and has three other big league average or better pitches. He pitched exclusively out of the bullpen this year but began his transition to the starting role at Instructs and he appears destined to stay there going forward. In fact, many team officials believe he could be a quick mover and perhaps next year's version of Holder, albeit with better overall stuff.
33. LHP, Chaz Hebert - It has taken a while but this former 27th round pick out of high school back in 2011 is really starting to blossom. He always had a solid three-pitch big league arsenal but only the changeup really stood out as a potentially above average pitch. Over time, however, his once 88-90 mph fastball has improved to the 90-92 mph range and he has been able to develop some really good movement with it. His curveball has slowly gotten better too, adding a bit more power, and he's developed a big league cutter along the way as well. He isn't overpowering by any means but he's a high pitch-ability southpaw who knows how to get outs and there's still a sizable ceiling to him should he ever make getting physically stronger a real priority.
34. RHP, Gabe Encinas - On the opposite end of the spectrum is this former sixth round pick out of high school back in 2010. In fact, arm-wise and in terms of pure stuff he really should be a Top Ten prospect. He's armed with a plus fastball that easily sits 94-96 mph, a knockout breaking ball, and changeup that shows plus potential too. However, he has had a difficult time throwing consistent strikes and limiting walks [he walked 63 batters in 98 innings this year]. He has been able to get away with his less than adequate control at the lower levels due to the great stuff but he'll need to improve his walk ratios considerably and start showing some of that high level pitch-ability he flashes at times more consistently if he's to tap his sky-high potential. He's a monster on the mound in waiting, he just needs to throw a lot more strikes.
35. OF, Ben Gamel - It's difficult to find a better sound baseball player than this former tenth round pick out of high school back in 2010. He always had the floor of a big league reserve outfielder and he proved that in spades with a career season in 2015, hitting .300 with a career-high ten home runs for Triple-A Scranton. He's a scrappy hitter, fielder, and base runner, and he only knows one way to play the game and that's full-out. He isn't nearly as tooled up as many others in this ranking though and, while okay defensively in centerfield, he profiles better in the corners. While he certainly has more than enough game to be a very productive big leaguer off the bench, the only legitimate question is will he hit for enough power to garner a starting spot and that's a question that can not be answered just yet. But don't be fooled, he can flat-out play.
36. OF, Trey Amburgey - Many would be hard pressed to find a better debut season for a hitter than this year's 13th round pick out of junior college had in 2015. He hit a combined .346 between the Gulf Coast League and Staten Island with five home runs and 21 stolen bases. In fact, he's a more tooled-up, right-handed hitting version of Gamel as somebody with the safe projection as an eventual big league reserve outfielder. With more power and speed, however, there could be a a considerably higher ceiling if he can continue to prove he has the chops to stick in centerfield long-term. A little Kevin Pillar-like, he is one of the better 'sleeper' candidates among the position prospects.
37. RHP, Cale Coshow - The support inside the organization for this former 13th round pick in 2013 is nearly as strong as his 95 mph average fastball. Standing 6-foot-5 and weighing 260 pounds, to label him an imposing figure on the mound would be an understatement, especially considering his fastball routinely approaches triple digits. Coshow certainly had a breakout season this year, posting a combined 2.45 ERA over three minor league levels and limiting batters to a .208 average. He was transitioned to the starting rotation to get more opportunities to work on his secondary pitches and all three really developed, including his cutter, slider, and changeup, but what the Yankees found out is that he's able to maintain his velocity deep into games too. Some high ranking team officials are very high on his long-term potential, and not merely as a bullpen-only option.
38. RHP, Jonathan Holder - Combine Coshow's arm with last year's sixth round pick's pitch-ability and you'd have a whale of a pitching prospect. The Mississippi State product entered his first full year this season as a 'sleeper' prospect much in the same way Jordan Montgomery did and like Montgomery he went out and had a fantastic season, posting a combined 2.52 ERA over three minor league levels. The fastball ticks a little above average on the gun, registering 90-94 mph, but plays higher than that with the sink and movement he's able to generate and with the command he possesses. Throw in a big league plus slider and a rapidly developing changeup with his innate strike-throwing ability and there's a lot to like. He won't overpower guys but he fits into the Lail-Finley mold as a solid middle to back-end big league starting option someday if he continues to progress.
39. RHP, Kyle Haynes - Acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Chris Stewart trade nearly two years ago, Haynes might be at the top of many team officials' sleeper list. The former Virginia Commonwealth University hurler began his career in the bullpen and transitioned to the starting role with the Yankees, and very much akin to Coshow the Yankees began to see that his 95 mph fastball actually held its velocity deep into games. Throw in an above average slider, an average changeup, and a brand new curveball with long-term above average or better potential and the Yankees believe they could have a starting stalwart on their hands who isn't just Double-A tested but Triple-A exposed. He very well could be a viable starting option for the Yankees, one who still has a considerable ceiling even at 24 years old.
40. RHP, Will Carter - 'Sleeper' pitching prospects abound, this year's 14th round pick out of the University of Alabama is yet another high-end arm with a world of potential who is garnering a lot of attention inside the Yankee organization. Like Koerner he pitched almost exclusively out of the bullpen [he made just one start] in his debut season with Staten Island this year but began transitioning to the starting role at Instructs simply because the Yankees love the entire arsenal. He sits comfortably in the 92-95 mph range and tops out at 98 mph, has a plus curveball, and the makings of an above average or better changeup. He has three big league pitches already and at 6-foot-3 has good size too. Don't be surprised if he follows suit with the likes of Montgomery and Holder, and has a breakout year in his first full season in 2016.
41. 3B, Donny Sands - This year's eighth round pick out of high school enters the system perhaps as the hitting version of Hebert in that he doesn't have the one standout physical tool but has the requisite solid all-around game and mental maturity in place to be a steady developer over the coming years. While neither the power nor the speed grade out as anything more than merely average at this point, the fact is he shows an advanced feel for hitting with superb strike zone discipline and patience, and is a better defender than most first-year players coming out of high school. Still just 19 years old, it remains to be seen how much ceiling there actually is but for the time being he projects to be solid in all phases of the game until the tools begin to materialize more.
42. LHP, Tyler Webb - This tenth round pick out of the University of South Carolina was in the midst of having another terrific season this year after breaking out a year ago [he struck out 94 batters in 68 innings and advanced three minor league levels] when a freak injury to the pointer finger on his pitching hand ended his season prematurely in June. When healthy he doesn't look like much on the radar gun but he generates a lot of deception from his 6-foot-6 frame and effortless delivery so his 90-94 mph plays at a much higher level. With a decent changeup-slider mix too, he has more than enough stuff and strike-throwing ability to be a real asset out of the bullpen. He has significant Triple-A experience and success too so he's not far off from helping out the big league team.
43. 1B, Chris Gittens - The Yankees have a ton of 'sleeper' pitching prospects but last year's 12th round pick is near the top of a rather short list of potential 'sleeper' prospects among the position players. Of course his numbers are not exactly of the 'sleeper' variety as he hit .363 with eight home runs in the Gulf Coast League this year after just 35 at-bats a year ago. Still, the Yankees love his bat control and advanced approach at the plate, and standing 6-foot-4 and weighing 260 pounds he has plus power potential to spare to all fields. There are some obvious conditioning concerns and some defensive progress at first base to be made but it's hard to overlook his offensive potential. He has the chance to be a very productive hitter.
44. LHP, Daniel Camarena - This 20th round pick out of high school back in 2011 had a breakout season in high-A Tampa last season but then started experiencing some pain in his arm upon his promotion to Double-A. He had arthroscopic surgery on his pitching elbow to remove bone chips and a bone spur back on April 10th and wound up missing the entire 2015 campaign. When healthy he's a high pitch-ability southpaw with two plus secondary pitches and a big league average fastball. It remains to be seen if the repaired elbow will help improve his 89-92 mph fastball or not but few can match his moxie on the mound nor his secondary arsenal to get through an opposing lineup a few times each game.
45. LHP, Caleb Smith - The fact that this 14th round pick in 2013 is ranked as low as he is here is more a testament to the unprecedented depth of the Yankee farm system than it is any sort of statement regarding his prospect status. In fact, he has risen the minor league ranks rather quickly on the strength of an above average fastball, above average changeup combination and a solid curveball-slider mix. He was extremely effective too at season's end with Double-A Trenton, posting a 2.54 ERA in his final nine starts. If he could learn to trust his stuff more and throw more strikes his game could really begin to take off.
46. RHP, Jordan Foley - Like Jordan Montgomery and Jonathan Holder, last year's fifth round pick entered his first full season as a 'sleeper' prospect but pitched his way into a sure-fire Top 50 guy in 2015. He posted a solid 2.99 ERA that included a couple of spot starts with Triple-A Scranton and struck out better than a batter per inning pitched. He has a lot of deception with his low-90s fastball that tops out at 95 mph, has a quality big league slider that shows plus potential, and a plus splitter that is a big strikeout weapon. A starter right now, he still has some work to do in that capacity but already profiles quite nicely as a potential big league reliever given the fastball-slider-splitter combo.
47. LHP, Dietrich Enns - It was just two years ago that this former 19th round pick out of Central Michigan University was a bonafide Top 50 prospect with his above average fastball, above average changeup combination and rapidly developing slider. He missed most of the 2014 season, however, after having Tommy John surgery. He bounced back in a huge way in 2015 though, at least statistically, posting a tiny 0.61 ERA over two minor league levels. The fastball isn't completely back just yet, not topping out at 94 mph like he once was, but he still has the quality slider that makes him a viable long-term reliever at minimum. Give him another year away from the surgery and there's a chance he could resurrect that power but for now the pitch-ability is high with quality stuff.
48. OF, Carlos Vidal - All this 19-year old has done is produce at a very high level ever since signing with the Yankees a little more than two years ago. He hit a ridiculous .362 with more walks than strikeouts in his debut season a year ago in the Dominican Summer League and then went out and hit .303 with 15 doubles and nine home runs for short-season Pulaski this year after bypassing the Gulf Coast League level entirely. The Colombian isn't nearly as toolsy as the numbers might indicate, showing more average power potential at best than anything and above average speed, but throw in solid to even above average defensive abilities to go along with strong command of the strike zone and he's a vastly underrated prospect despite the great numbers. Another solid season in 2016 in the long-season leagues and he could begin to shoot up the rankings.
49. RHP, Simon De La Rosa - If there's a right-handed version of Rutckyj at the lower levels, somebody who shows the plus stuff but lackluster control that could turn things around down the road in similar fashion, it's this Dominican native. Standing 6-foot-3, he is simply electric on the mound with his fastball. Not only does it average 93-97 mph but it plays even a level higher as it shows late life and batters offer at it like it's coming in a lot harder. He also has a plus breaking ball at his disposal too and the special combination is why he's struck out 180 batters in his first 140 professional innings. Like Rutckyj in his younger days, however, De La Rosa just puts himself into harm's way too often by issuing too many walks [he walked 37 in 53.1 innings this year]. If he could turn around the control he could really become an impact pitcher. Time will tell if he can or not, but it's tough to overlook his special stuff.
50. OF, Frank Frias - Like Vidal, this Dominican native was an under the radar discount signing for the Yankees who has done nothing but perform at a very high level since when he's been healthy enough to play, hitting .306 in his first 461 career at-bats with an .855 OPS. He severely broke his ankle a year ago and it took him a little while to come back but he absolutely made a full return, showing above average to plus speed, above average or better defensive abilities, and he has average or better power potential [probably a tick higher] to go along with a nice blend of strike zone discipline and swing mechanics. He's already 21 years old though and hasn't played in the long-season leagues yet, but few offer his kind of tool set and production. He's one to watch out for in the coming years.